This week I learned about family. I had set the theme early — I plan to speak with my sister and cousins for this week podcast episode — so family has been simmering on the back burner of my brain all week (or so).
These people we chose to live with long term — the children we raise, the parents who raise us, the life partners we choose, the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and the ones we call aunt, uncle, cousin, etc — the people we chose to call family —it’s sacred.
Admit it: there’s no other word for it. That moment a roommate becomes family, the moment you realize who it is you invite to Thanksgiving.
A good roommate knows you well — pre coffee, in an unexpected meltdown, glaring over the sink of dishes — family *knows* you.
I think it may be as simple as that: for family to “work” those people need to hold that knowing as sacred and anytime it’s defiled, they heal it.
“You never know how or when you’ll have an impact, or how important your example can be to someone else.”
— Denzel Washington
Do you consider yourself a role model? I think it’s (maybe) the most important piece in families — we are all making an impact on each other all the time. What that impact is can create or destroy.
Maybe try a simple list of who you impact and who impacts you.
What does that look like?
Further to that…maybe try an exercise this week where you are conscious of the impact you have on those close to you — and be mindful that the impact you have is positive, creative. See what happens.
5. Level-UP / Go Deeper
It’s about care — reflecting on how the things you do and say can make a difference in the life of those you care most about. I think where it can get tricky is that there will be vast stretches of time where you may feel no one’s making a positive impact on you, so…
One thing that I think happens is that some days, the world beats us up and then we head home and even if we don’t “beat up” our family members, we think it’s fair game to, well, be a little destructive in our impact rather than creative.
Which, I mean, we’re human. It happens. But I think it starts and ends with care. If you’ve been beaten up by the world, I believe it’s crucial and the opposite of selfish to care for yourself by taking the time you need to be heard and seen. Taking time to walk. Taking time to meditate. Taking time to laugh (surprisingly effective!). Taking as much time as you need to dig into your self care toolkit and breathe for awhile. Then go make an impact.
6. POD Poem of the day Maya Angelou: Human Family (video)
7. Podcast (Black Family Table Talk— This looks excellent!)
9. Hero: Emily Watts, Corona Virus Survivor
Why? She’s 105 and she just celebrated her birthday with family. From the article: “When asked what the key to her longevity was, Watts's daughter, Marsha Netter, said that her mom was always active, grew her own veggies, and, one of the key secrets: only drank Dewars on the rocks with a twist.”
10. Take Care of Yourself This Week and Share if you know someone who might like this.
Wild and Precious Podcast, the audio partner to 10 Things, is available everywhere you download podcasts. Family episode with my family (sister and cousins), Thursday.